977. And Muslim reports from Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu `anhu) that the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said to a man who intended to marry a woman:
“Have you seen her?” He replied, “No.” So he said: “Go and look at her.”
[Muslim, no. 1424]
Shaikh Sālih Al-Fawzān (hafidhahullāh) said:
“He intended to marry” means that he proposed to her or wished to propose to her, so the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said to him: “Have you seen her?” He replied: “No.” So he said to him: “Then go and look at her.” This is similar to the hadeeth that has preceded of Jaabir wherein the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) permitted him or recommended him to look at the one he was proposing to and at that which would induce him and put the desire in him to marry her. And if she was acceptable to him, then he should go ahead and marry. And if she was not acceptable, then he should leave the affair. Either way, he would be upon insight. This is from the Sunan of marriage, however, this has principles and guidelines which we have already mentioned, i.e. that he looks at her face and hands. This in accordance to need and in accordance with what he knows of this woman as to whether she is suited to him or not.
Title: Kitaabun-Nikaah (The Book of Marriage) from Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan’s explanation of Buloogh al-Maraam min Adillatil-Ahkaam of Al-Haafidh Ahmad Ibn `Alee Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee (Born 773H, Died 852H). Shaikh Al-Fawzaan’s tremendous explanation is entitled Tas-heel al-Ilmaam bi-fiqhil-Ahaadeeth min Bulooghil-Maraam and is printed in seven volumes. The above is a translation of this important and very enlightening chapter, adapted in places for brevity and simplicity. The following is from volume 4.